Given Choice Chosen To Score At Kempton5 min read
A field of 12 will go to post for tomorrow’s Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock including the Grand National winner of 2017 One For Arthur (10/1) although a return to Aintree in the spring is the primary objective for Lucinda Russell’s chaser who was forced to miss the great race 12 months ago through injury. Note BetVictor are paying 1/5th odds first 4 on the Haydock feature.
There is the threat of some light rain at Chepstow this afternoon on ground described as good to soft at noon on Thursday. In the opener Barbrook Star (1.05) returns to the scene of his excellent third on his chase debut from a 4lbs lower mark. The selection has the steadier of 12st 2lbs and failed to build on his Chepstow run when third at Warwick last time, but I think this slower ground will suit and the Philip Hobbs top-weight gets the each way vote.
The Novice Hurdles and Novice Chase are ultra-competitive and quality races and there will be plenty of future winners coming out of the contests. In the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle the form of Evidence De Thaix’s (3.20) Exeter success was franked at Newbury on Wednesday by the win of My Dot’s Baby and I feel she could have been let in lightly from an opening mark of 120 for Nicky Henderson.
There are any number of potential dangers, however, with Ratoute Yutty and Annie Mac at the top of a long list of potential improvers.
The mare Goodgirlteresa failed to stay 3m on her penultimate start but was a fluent winner at Fontwell over two-and-a-half-miles on Monday and will have her supporters carrying a 7lbs penalty for that wide-margin (14L) success. That was only 4 days ago, however, and I thought there was more to come from Shintori (3.50) who has been raised 11lbs for his own facile win at Plumpton. The runner up (Chivers) has franked the form and Shintori has been given a month to get over his last start.
Barbrook Star (1.05)
Evidence De Thaix’s (3.20)
In the last at Lingfield Adam Kirby keeps the ride on Maharban (3.40) who he rushed into a lead at Wolverhampton on debut as if the race was a 5f sprint. In the circumstances I feel the well-bred colt ran a decent race and I would expect him to come on considerably for the experience. The Frankel gelding Gantier – the likely short-priced favourite – represents powerful connections but is no star.
At Kempton this evening My Dear Friend makes his handicap debut for Ralph Beckett and steps up in trip to a mile for the first time. A market move would be worth noting. The vote, however, goes to Kentucky Kingdom (6.15) who, at the time of writing, is bidding to give Ryan Moore his first winner of the year. The selection gave the impression the step up to a mile would suit when third at Newcastle last time and his opening mark looks fair.
The 6lbs penalty picked up by Given Choice (6.45) for his recent Wolverhampton win is largely negated by the 5lbs claim of Cameron Noble and I feel Simon Crisford’s filly – who bumped into the progressive Aircraft Carrier on her penultimate start – can follow up.
Kentucky Kingdom (6.15)
Given Choice (6.45)